How To Treat And Prevent A Chafing Rash Naturally

Get instant relief from rashes and discomfort with simple and effective home remedies.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan, MD Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan Dr. Hari Hara SudhanMD
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years

Chafing is a term used to describe skin rashes that form due to friction. Whether you got soaked in the rain or simply sweated it out in a pair of body hugging shorts, you may have experienced the terrible discomfort that a chafing rash entails. But, there’s good news as you can prevent a chafing rash and treat it too, very quickly! Continue reading to find out more about how to heal a chafing rash naturally, as well as how you can avoid it the next time.

What Is Chafing?

Chafing is a very common skin problem. You must have observed that prolonged scratching of your skin due to an irritating fabric, friction, or moisture causes your skin to burn and sting. This results in skin rashes, which are referred to as chafing rashes.

Excessive scratching of your skin may result in the following signs and symptoms.

Signs And Symptoms Of Chafing

Chafing is often characterized by the onset of skin rashes. These rashes can be:

  • Itchy
  • Red and inflamed
  • Burning or stinging

More severe cases of chafing may cause your skin to:

  • Swell
  • Crust
  • Bleed

Chafing rashes have more to do with rubbing your body parts against each other or against your clothing. And that takes us to the factors that cause the rashes.

Causes And Risk Factors For Chafing

Chafing mostly occurs when:

  • Your skin rubs against itself, especially when wet.
  • The fiber of your clothing is irritating, and your skin rubs against the cloth.
  • Your skin or clothing is wet.

Some factors can increase the risk of chafing. They are:

  • Participation in endurance sports like biking and running.
  • Athletics
  • Obesity
  • Breastfeeding
  • Wearing soiled diapers for too long – This is true especially in the case of infants and older adults who use diapers.
  • Wearing a skirt – Without pants or leggings to protect your legs, your thighs may rub against each other and develop chafing rashes.
  • Wearing ill-fitting clothes – When a loose piece of clothing rubs against your skin, it can cause rashes.

All said and done, we need to know how to treat (and prevent) chafing rashes. Let’s see how.

Home Remedies To Treat Chafed Skin

  1. Aloe Vera
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Essential Oils
  4. Vaseline
  5. Coconut Oil
  6. Epsom Salt Bath
  7. Oatmeal Bath
  8. Turmeric
  9. Indian Lilac
  10. Cold Compress
  11. Cornstarch
  12. Baking Soda
  13. Apple Cider Vinegar
  14. Vitamins

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Take an aloe vera leaf and extract a tablespoon of gel from it.
  2. Apply the gel evenly to the chafed skin and leave it on for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Wash with water.
Why This Works

Aloe vera speeds up the healing of skin wounds, which explains its efficiency in treating chafing. The anti-inflammatory property of aloe aids the healing (1).

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some virgin olive oil in your palms.
  2. Gently massage it into the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash it off.
  4. You can also apply olive oil to the affected area at night, before going to sleep.
Why This Works

Olive oil is a powerful antioxidant that speeds up the healing of the affected area with its protective and healing properties (2).

3. Essential Oils

a. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix six drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil.
  2. Apply this concoction to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on until it dries on its own.
  4. Reapply as required.
Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil treat chafing rashes and prevent any possible infections (3).

b. Calendula Oil

Calendula oil for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 7 drops of calendulai  XA mediterranean flowering plant that has wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (or any other carrier oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add seven drops of calendula oil to a teaspoon of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it to the affected skin.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse off with water.
  4. You can also allow it to evaporate naturally.
  5. Repeat this multiple times in a day.
Why This Works

Calendula oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can accelerate wound healing (4). If oil is not available, calendula cream also has the same effect and can be used alternatively.

4. Vaseline

Vaseline for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Vaseline or petroleum jelly (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a little Vaseline and apply it to the affected area.
  2. Reapply as necessary.
Why This Works

Vaseline keeps your skin well moisturized. It also forms a protective layer on the skin and prevents further infection in the affected area (5), (6).

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a little coconut oil in your palms and spread it all over the affected skin.
  2. Allow the oil to dry on its own.
  3. Reapply the oil as and when required.
Why This Works

The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil keep your skin lubricated and relieve inflammation and swelling (7), (8).

6. Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt bath for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to a tub of water.
  2. Mix well and soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Pat your skin dry.
  4. You can also soak in an Epsom salt bath before you go to bed.
Why This Works

Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, which reduces inflammation and treats the symptoms of chafing (10).

7. Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal bath for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1-2 cups of oatmeal
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add one to two cups of oatmeal to a tub filled with water.
  2. Soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes and pat your skin dry.
  3. You can also replace your loofah with some oatmeal wrapped in a muslin cloth.
  4. Do this 2 to 3 times.
Why This Works

The excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-itch action of oatmeal work wonders in healing chafing (10), (11).

8. Turmeric

Turmeric for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two teaspoons of turmeric powder with enough water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply this paste all over the chafed area.
  3. Allow it to dry for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
  4. Repeat this several times during the day.
Why This Works

The curcumin in turmeric can help in treating chafed skin with its anti-inflammatory properties (12).

9. Indian Lilac (Neem)

Indian lilac or neem for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • A handful of neem leaves
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a handful of neem leaves and wash them thoroughly.
  2. Grind them with water.
  3. Apply the neem blend to the affected skin.
  4. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash it off.
  5. Repeat as and when necessary or until you notice an improvement.
Why This Works

The methanolic compounds in neem help fight the inflammation, itchiness, and swelling associated with chafing (13).

10. Cold Compress

Cold compress for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

A cold compress

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a cold compress or some ice wrapped in a clean cloth and apply it directly to the chafed skin.
  2. Hold the compress on your skin for about 2 to 3 minutes and remove.
  3. Repeat thrice.
  4. You can apply the ice compress at regular intervals for faster recovery.
Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory action of cold compresses offers relief from the itching and inflammation in the affected area (14).

11. Cornstarch

Cornstarch for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Cornstarch (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Sprinkle a little cornstarch on the moist and affected areas of your skin.
  2. You can also apply a layer of Vaseline over this.
  3. Repeat as necessary.
Why This Works

Cornstarch helps in keeping your skin dry and sweat-free. This remedy can be especially effective for minimizing friction and rashes due to too much sweat or moisture (15).

12. Baking Soda

Baking soda for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply it to the chafing rash.
  3. Leave it on for about 20 to 30 minutes and rinse it off.
  4. Do this multiple times.
Why This Works

Two properties of baking soda play a role in the treatment of a chafing rash. Firstly, the alkalinei  XThe nature of a substance that can dissolve in water, produce salts when combined with acids, and reduce the acidity of acids. nature of baking soda restores the pH of your skin and accelerates healing. And secondly, baking soda is a natural antiseptici  XA property or drug used to prevent any kind of microbial infections by killing the microbes that cause them. that can prevent further infections (16), (17).

13. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar(ACV)
  • 1 glass of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and add it to a glass of water.
  2. Mix well and soak a cotton pad in it.
  3. Apply the mixture to the affected skin.
  4. Allow the apple cider vinegar to dry on its own.
  5. Repeat at regular intervals.
Why This Works

ACV has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can work wonders in treating your chafed skin and its symptoms (18), (19). These properties can be credited to the presence of acetic acid in ACV.

14. Vitamins

Vitamin A and vitamin C for chafing rash
Image: Shutterstock

Individuals suffering from chafed skin must include a diet rich in vitamins A and C. These vitamins work as antioxidants that are extremely beneficial for your overall health, including chafed skin (20), (21). Also, vitamin C is known to boost your immunity and can thus protect your skin from further infections (22).

You must consume foods like spinach, kale, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers and guava to get the required amounts of vitamins A and C naturally. You can also take additional supplements if required, after consulting with your doctor.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and may effectively soothe irritated skin. Rub a few slices of refrigerated potato on the chafed skin to soothe the irritation.

You can also follow the below-mentioned tips to prevent recurrence of this condition.

Prevention Tips

  • Follow a healthy diet rich in all the essential nutrients.
  • Use a deodorant to avoid sweating too much.
  • Use a good moisturizer on the chafing-pronei  XA tissue, mostly skin, which is in continuous contact with wetness, an irritated cloth, or some friction that can eventually cause a tear. areas of your skin.
  • Wear clothing that allows your skin to breathe, especially while exercising.
  • Wear well-fitting clothes to avoid friction with your skin.
  • Do not stay in wet clothes for too long.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Dab baby powder gently on the affected area. It can effectively reduce friction and minimize the irritation associated with chafing.

Dina Gold, a fitness blogger, shared tips on how she avoided chafing from indoor cycling. She wrote, “Exfoliate (in the shower) and moisturize daily. I use a sugar scrub and a shea-based moisturizer (i).”

Apart from home remedies, there are some other treatments you may use to manage chafing. Check them out in the next section.

Some Other Treatments For Chafing

  • Wear Moisture-Wicking Shorts

Cool and soft fabrics can help reduce moisture and sweat. Snuggly fit shorts also reduce skin-to-skin contact and prevent further chafing and discomfort while walking or running.

  • Use Medical Anti-Chafing Products

Ointments containing zinc gluconate‐taurine complex and zinc oxide can be used to reduce the inflammation. It is useful for skin that is exposed to friction, heat, and humidity (23).

  • Apply Diaper Rash Cream

Anecdotal evidence suggests that using zinc-based diaper rash cream may help soothe irritated and chafed skin.

These are a few quick and useful tips that can help you steer clear of chafing.

Infographic: Natural Remedies For Chafed Skin

The pain of chafed skin can sometimes be unbearable. The burning sensation makes it hard to focus on anything. However, some home remedies help in such times.
Look at the infographic below to learn the easiest and fastest ways to treat chafed skin at home.

5 of the most magnificent black roses (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Chafing rashes occur due to friction on the skin and may appear red and inflamed, with crusting, swelling, or bleeding in severe cases. In addition, these rashes may cause itchiness, burning, or a stinging sensation that can be alleviated using home remedies for chafing. Aloe vera gel, essential oils, olive oil, oatmeal bath, vaseline, cold compress, baking soda, and cornstarch are some of the readily available ingredients that can help alleviate the rash and provide relief. As these rashes are generally formed due to the rubbing of skin on skin or cloth on skin, avoid ill-fitted clothing, or wear protective clothing on your legs if you are wearing skirts or participating in sports. For babies, diaper rash is quite common hence diaper rash cream, salve, or zinc oxide cream are also recommended if natural remedies are less effective. And while the already-mentioned remedies can do wonders, a few other alternatives can also be noted, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, chamomile cream, witch hazel ointment, hydrocortisone cream, antibiotic creams, and even medicated powder.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does chafing last?

Chafing usually lasts only for a few days, depending on how fast you fix or get rid of the irritant causing it.

Can you get boils from chafing?

Yes, boils can surface on the areas of your skin exposed to repetitive chafing.

Does baby powder relieve chafing?

Baby powder absorbs the unwanted moisture and sweat from your skin. This keeps your skin dry and soothes the irritation caused by chafing.

Which body parts are commonly affected by chafing?

Chafing is most likely to occur on your body parts that either rub against each other or against your clothing, such as your inner thighs, buttocks, nipples, groin, feet, and armpits.

How do you treat inner thigh chafing?

You can invest in a chafe-soothing lotion or balm to calm the skin down, reduce redness, and repair skin damage. However, consult your physician if the condition is quite severe or shows no improvement.

What causes chafing in the inner thighs?

The skin around the thighs is thinner and more tender than other areas of your body. This area, and especially the folds, have a lot of moisture and are more prone to fungal and yeast infections.

Can you use Neosporin for chafing?

Yes, you can use Neosporin for chafing. It is an antibacterial ointment that helps heal and soothe the irritated area (24).

How do you heal chafing overnight?

Chafing cannot be healed completely overnight. However, research suggests that applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly can help repair the damaged skin barrier, seal off the area, and accelerate healing (25).

Is chafing a yeast infection?

Yes, chafing might result from a yeast infection. This is more likely if the situation doesn’t improve or gets worse through the week. Ensure you apply an antifungal cream or seek help from a gynecologist.

How do you sleep with thigh chafing?

Clean the area with mild soap and water. Steer away from using scented products as they can aggravate the condition. Wear soft, loose, and breathable fabrics, like cotton, to get a restful sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • Chafing causes red and inflamed skin that leads to itching and swelling.
  • The rubbing of skin against other materials leads to chafing.
  • Apply aloe gel or diluted essential oils to soothe the affected area and reduce swelling.
  • Wear breathable and well-fitted clothes to avoid friction with your skin.
  • Consume a nutrient-rich diet to boost your immune system and prevent infections.
remedies for chafing

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn nine simple home remedies to help soothe and prevent chafing of your thighs! Get relief from the discomfort and irritation of chafing today by checking out the video below.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Topical application of aloe vera accelerated wound healing modeling and remodeling: an experimental study
  2. Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and skin protector
  3. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties
  4. Wound healing and anti-inflammatory effect in animal models of calendula officinalis l. Growing in brazil
  5. Moisturizers: the slippery road
  6. Skin care for your baby
  7. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis
  8. Anti-inflammatory analgesic and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil
  9. Magnesium decreases inflammatory cytokine production: a novel innate immunomodulatory mechanism
  10. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry irritated skin
  11. Avenanthramides polyphenols from oats exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity
  12. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research
  13. Anti-inflammatory pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects of a methanolic neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf extract are mediated via modulation of the nuclear factor-κB pathway
  14. Effect of local cold-pack application on systemic anabolic and inflammatory response to sprint-interval training: a prospective comparative trial
  15. Corn starch Candida albicans and diaper rash
  16. Ome remedy use among African American and white older adults
  17. Antibacterial activity of baking soda
  18. Anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects of synthetic acetic acid vinegar and Nipa vinegar on high-fat-diet-induced obese mice
  19. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression
  20. Antioxidant function of vitamin A
  21. Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention
  22. Vitamin C and Immune Function
  23. A novel treatment of intertrigo in athletes and overweight subjects
  24. A systematic review and meta-analysis on the use of prophylactic topical antibiotics for the prevention of uncomplicated wound infections
  25. Petrolatum: Barrier repair and antimicrobial responses underlying this ”inert” moisturizer
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